With one of its more controversial decisions behind it—last week’s long-awaited vote on the North Berkeley Sprint facility—and difficult budget-cutting choices coming up, the Berkeley City Council will be lifting a light load at tonight’s meeting (Tuesday, Feb. 24).
There are only three items on the council’s Action Agenda: amendments to the off-street parking ordinance, an adjustment to requirements for appeals from the Zoning Adjustments Board, and a recommendation from the Citizens Humane Commission on changes in the city’s animal care budget.
Also of note on the agenda is a proclamation honoring the late disabled and progressive activist Fred Lupke.
On Wednesday the Police Review Commission is expected to offer a recommendation to the city council on proposed canine unit for the Berkeley Police Department. The PRC held three public hearings on the proposal, which seeks to use confiscated drug money to buy and train two German shepherds for the force.
Two controversial developments will return to the Zoning Adjustment Board on Thursday of this week (Feb. 26).
John DeClerq of TransAction Companies will once again seek a use permit for Library Gardens—a 176-unit apartment complex planned to rise just west of the Public Library at the current site of the 375-space Kittredge Street garage. DeClerq has added 124 parking spaces to the project since the ZAB rejected it last month because the permit request did not include any proposal to mitigate the expected loss of public parking.
Also on the ZAB’s Thursday agenda will be reconsideration of proposals to renovate or demolish the Blood House, a stuccoed-over Victorian at 2526 Durant Ave. In December, ZAB commissioners ordered developers Ruegg & Ellsworth back to the drawing board after ZAB concluded the company had not made a good faith effort to develop housing on the plot that incorporated the landmarked 19th century building. The developers insist any development that doesn’t demolish the building would be unfeasible.